Letters of Love and Hope
The Story of the Cuban Five
Alice Walker with the families of the Cuban Five
The story of five Cubans serving lengthy sentences in US prisons for the "crime" of trying to prevent terrorism against Cuba.
Introduced by Alice Walker, with a preface by Cuban poet Nancy Morejon, this book includes excerpts from diaries, letters from and to children, wives and parents of the five Cubans imprisoned in the United States for "espionage," providing a glimpse of how ordinary families strive to maintain connections in extraordinary circumstances.
This book also includes a succinct legal analysis of the case by attorney Leonard Weinglass, outlining how it has significantly violated both international law and the US constitution.
The Cuban Five (Rene González, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Ramón Labaniño and Gerardo Hernández) were arrested by the FBI in Miami in September 1998. They were eventually convicted and sentenced in 2001 in a highly charged political trial, the legality of which has since been challenged. Their "crime" was monitoring the ultra-right terrorist groups based in Miami that plan terrorist attacks against the people of Cuba. Their case is still under appeal.
Alice Walker won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Color Purple in 1983 and the author of numerous other books. She has been outspoken on the issues of women's rights, black rights, war and the environment.
Nancy Morejón is the best known and most widely translated woman poet of post-revolutionary Cuba.
The five Cubans who have been imprisoned in the United States is something that is a secret from the people of the United States. That story does not appear in the American press. You hear nothing about it… It’s totally in violation not just of constitutional rights, but of human rights.
This contempt for human rights is unworthy of a democratic country. I urge that these men be returned to their homes and lives in Cuba.
—Nadine Gordimer, Nobel prize winner
To fight for the freedom of these noble Cubans is a duty for all the forces that stand against terrorism in any part of the world. It is to struggle for the cause of so many other prisoners who, like them, are condemned to unjust sentences in US prisons, and who we cannot forget.
For well over four decades, the US empire has been waging a secret and deadly war against Cuba. The Cuban Five, young men who tried to protect their people from these instances of US state terrorism… who merely reported the plotting of crimes against their people, faced the full, foul fury of the empire’s judiciary - for trying to stop the crimes!
The story of the Cuban Five is one of courage, great sacrifice and love. It is a story for the ages; especially for those of our people who have suffered under the implacable oppression of white American supremacy; a rule of color and power the rest of the world appears destined to experience.
How is it that a government that is so intent on waging war against terrorism, as it calls it, is itself involved in protecting terrorists in its own country who are attacking and have been attacking for many years and have caused the deaths of more people in Cuba than died on September 11?
—Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney General